By Volunteer Barsha Bharati, FHI Bhubaneswar
In my first FHI event, when I entered a classroom full of kids, I paused for a moment to see. God was unwrapping a divine appointment for me. I saw some faces cheering up and some dancing. In the midst of so many smiles, I felt like they were the rings and I was Saturn. A ring made up of positivity adding to the optimism I have towards life. What would you do when you are made to feel like this? Obviously, you will want several appointments won’t you?
“Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.”
— Wess Stafford
I eagerly look forward to every event as I get to learn something new every time. The thought of me having learnt a plethora of things already and anticipating the things I am yet to learn in the subsequent events simply makes me jump in excitement. The following is a portrayal of my extensive learning, which I got by interacting with children.
Never hesitate to express your feelings
On mingling with kids as their friends, I noticed their ability to always express their emotions. They wholeheartedly smile, cry, laugh and even yell at someone to express their disliking of something. We were also like them when we were kids. But we slowly grew up. Becoming adults made us stammer and hesitant when it comes to communicating. It is considered ‘mature’ to restrict our expression and feelings in the fear of someone looking down upon us. This over time has developed into anxiety and depression, trapping us in a cycle of misery. We should never let our souls lose their charm. We can learn from how children never hesitate in expressing themselves. It’s completely acceptable to listen to the inner child that is inside you, after all, the more you express, the stronger you are.
Look towards the solution, don’t be held back by the problem
In our January celebration event, we had taken masks for the kids. We showed them how to make it. One of the kids asked for another stick to hold the mask because his stick had broken. We had limited sticks and masks so I tried to convince him that we would give him next time. He was unconvinced. He then asked me to make two holes on his mask and ran to his room. He brought a thread and made his mask wearable. He taught me to look towards the solution and not be overwhelmed by the problem dismissing any ways to overcome it. It was inspiring because the kid refused to give up and looked for other ways to make use of what he already had. Sometimes, I panic if something unplanned happened to me and that day, it was encouraging to see how he handled the situation really well.
Everyone is unique, there is beauty in diversity
In one of the events, we gave kids paper plates and showed them how to prepare masks and colour them. Kids are usually great in mimicking and innocently follow what they are told to do, but to my surprise, every kid made a mask different to the demonstrated one. Every child designed and decorated each mask differently. The difference and the uniqueness in every child’s approach made me appreciate the fact that everyone is unique and diversity is a thing of beauty, whether it is in decorating masks, or the different personalities of children. It melted my heart seeing the kids showcasing their work of art proudly.
Never Ever Give Up
Here is a picture from the games and sports event in Bhubaneshwar demonstrating how children never give up. Kids always have stubbornness to try again multiple times until they accomplish something. But we as adults lose our heart if we fail once or twice. It helps to bring out the latent stubbornness of a child to persevere and get through a task despite failing a few times. This childlike spirit will help us to learn from our failures and not demotivate us. The children from games and sports event have imbued this spirit in me which will never wear away.
Live in the moment and give your best
We go to a lot of different venues, but the one thing that is always constant is the unconditional love we get from the children! In the time we spend with them, everything we try to teach or relay is met with a lot of eagerness, fascination and curiosity. They completely forget about the world around them and deeply involve themselves in the activities of the event and give it everything they have without any inhibition. They enjoy, put their best efforts and live in the moment. Life is not a rehearsal, so we could also take a page out of their book and live in the moment and give it our best at every moment to strive for the best!